Eddie Montgomery opens up about Troy Gentry's death: 'My world changed'

Eddie Montgomery of country duo Montgomery Gentry spoke to People about the death of his partner, Troy Gentry, who died in a pre-show helicopter crash on Sept. 8 in Medford, New Jersey, at age 50.

“It was a horrific day, my world changed as much as the band did,” Montgomery said. "It’s something that you never get over. It’s going to be in my mind and my soul for the rest of my life.”

Montgomery, 54, said that years ago, he and Gentry decided if the other died first, they would still soldier onward with Montgomery Gentry for the sake of their legacy and their fans. “We said to each other, ‘Hey, we want Montgomery Gentry to keep going,’” Montgomery told People. Still, he didn’t expect this fate. “It’s weird, I always thought it was going to be me that went down first.”

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Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry
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Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry performs during the 2012 CMA Music Festival on June 7, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry visits the Morning Show with Storme Warren on SiriusXM's The Highway channel at SiriusXM Studios on June 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
Eddie Montgomery (L) and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry pose at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 3, 2011. REUTERS/Sam Morris (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT)
Eddie Montgomery (L) and Troy Gentry of the duo Montgomery Gentry, recipients of the 2010 Academy of Country Music/The Home Depot Humanitarian Award, pose at the 45th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada April 18, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Troy Montgomery of country music duo 'Montgomery Gentry' visits the SiriusXM Studio on March 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Eddie Montgomery (L) and Troy Gentry of 'Montgomery Gentry' arrive at the 40th Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 6, 2006. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)
Montgomery Gentry band members Eddie Montgomery (L) and Troy Gentry perform "One in Every Crowd" at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 5, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)
Country band Montgomery Gentry, (L-R) Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry arrive at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 5, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT)
Country music duo Montgomery Gentry, Eddie Montgomery (L) and Troy Gentry, arrives at the 45th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2011. REUTERS/Harrison McClary (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Recording Artists Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry perform onstage at The Grand Ole Opry on June 10, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 02: Musician Troy Gentry of country music duo Montgomery Gentry performs during the 29th annual Downtown Hoedown at the Fremont Street Experience on December 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)
LEXINGTON, KY - APRIL 10: Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry attends the 2015 Kentucky Music Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Lexington Center Bluegrass Ballroom on April 10, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 12: (L-R) Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry Montgomery Gentry perform at House of Blues on December 12, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: Troy Gentry of the country duo Montgomery Gentry performs during 'FOX & Friends' All American Concert Series at FOX Studios on May 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Eisman/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 19: Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry perform onstage at the 5th Annual ACM Honors at Ryman Auditorium on September 19, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon IV/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 03: Musicans Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of the duo Montgomery Gentry arrive at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards RAM Red Carpet held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2011/Getty Images for ACM)
Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry performs at day 3 of 1st Annual Nevada WildFest at Henderson Pavillion on October 17, 2010 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Mindy Small/FilmMagic)
MANHATTAN, KS - JUNE 26: ***EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE*** Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry brews coffee on his bus backstage at the 2010 Country Stampede music festival at Tuttle Creek State Park on June 26, 2010 in Manhattan, Kansas. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 18: Singer Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry and his wife Angie Gentry arrive for the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 05: ***EXCLUSIVE*** Musicians Troy Gentry and Eddie Montgomery pose backstage during the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACM2009/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 18: Country music artists Eddie Montgomery (2nd L) and Troy Gentry (3rd L) of the duo Montgomery Gentry and their wives Tracy (L) and Angie (R) arrive at the 43rd annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
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Montgomery Gentry have released eight studio albums since 1999, three of which -- 1999’s Tattoos & Scars, 2002’s My Town and 2004’s You Do Your Thing -- went platinum. But the Kentucky-bred duo met almost a decade before that, forming Early Tymz in 1990 with Montgomery’s younger brother, John Michael Montgomery (who also went on to enjoy a successful solo career).

“Me and T, we’ve known each other longer than we’ve known our wives,” he said. “Nashville didn’t put this duo together, we did. We were friends before we were ever in the music business.” The partnership progressed hugely from Montgomery’s first impression of his bandmate: “I thought he was a pretty boy and he could sing.”

Last month, Billboardpremiered the video for Montgomery Gentry’s new single “Better Me,” the first single off their new album, Here’s to You, scheduled to come out Feb. 2018. “Troy never sounded better,” Montgomery told Billboard of his partner’s performance on the record. “This video is like a walk down memory lane for me and T-Roy over the years. So many great memories. I am glad to share this with our friends."

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Angie and Kaylee Gentry at the 2017 CMA Awards
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Angie and Kaylee Gentry at the 2017 CMA Awards
51st Country Music Association Awards ? Arrivals - Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., 08/11/2017 - Angie Gentry and daughter. REUTERS/Harrison McClary
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 08: Kaylee Gentry and Angie Gentry attend the 51st annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
THE 51ST ANNUAL CMA AWARDS - 'The 51st Annual CMA Awards,' hosted for the 10th year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images) ANGIE GENTRY
THE 51ST ANNUAL CMA AWARDS - 'The 51st Annual CMA Awards,' hosted for the 10th year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, airs live from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 8 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images) ANGIE GENTRY
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